Writes the Mail Online Australian Nine News reported on the closure of a Geelong greyhound pound where dogs have tested positive for canine coronavirus, the suggestion being that the virus affecting the human population has passed to dogs.
However, British scientists have been quick to stress that the virus seen of the greyhounds has not been confirmed as human Covid-19, and that reports that suggested otherwise were “incredibly irresponsible”.
Professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, Jonathan Ball told the Mail Online, “There is no evidence that the human novel coronavirus can infect dogs and it would be incredible for a virus to make so many species jumps in such a short space of time.
“We have to differentiate between real infection and just detecting the presence of a virus – these are very different - and the fact that the test result was weakly positive would suggest that this is environmental contamination or simply the presence of coronavirus shed from the human contact that has ended up in the dog's samples."
Bosses of greyhound arenas across the state of Victoria have nevertheless demanded that dogs with the virus are isolated to prevent contamination of other runners. Canine coronavirus is commonly seen of sports and working dogs in Australia.
Authorities down under have since admitted, “More samples need to be collected and tested before they can confirm whether the dog has been infected.”